DECIBEL FEST: ELECTRIC CIRCUS

Seattle Weekly

On an early evening in late August, Sean Horton, the co-founder of the six-year-old Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art and New Media–aka Decibel Fest–walks into Neumos, stops about 15 feet back from the stage, and begins explaining how he’ll turn this currently barren space into a multimedia Rubik’s Cube. The once local, now global electronic fest runs Sept. 24–27. On opening night, a combination of LED lights and stretched white fabric will turn Neumos into an emerald mini-city.  Since its inception in 2003, after Horton returned from Montreal’s Mutek festival obsessed with starting something similar in Seattle, one of the Fest’s key concerns has been pairing the aural and the visual. Along with a commitment to stimulating ears and eyes simultaneously, the event always focuses on subgenre-spanning underground dance music. Everything from breakbeat and electro to deep house, IDM, dub-step, and beyond will get thrown at festival-goers from a wide swath of electronic-music artists who often aren’t as recognizable as their subgenres of choice. With such a cosmopolitan, eclectic schedule, the Decibel Festival is not only the Northwest’s premiere showcase for underground electronic music, but en route to becoming one of the best in North America, next to Montreal’s Mutek and Detroit’s DEMF/Movement.”

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